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White Hot Stamper

Traffic
Mr. Fantasy

  (Item #: traffmrfan_1908_10) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • This early Pink Label import pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, making this one of the best copies to hit the site in many years, if not THE best
  • We used to think that The Best of Traffic had better sound, but in a head to head comparison with this very copy, we were proved WRONG
  • Big, full-bodied and lively, with huge amounts of space and off the charts Tubey Magic, the sound here is Hard to Fault - thanks Eddie and Jimmy!
  • "Winwood is simply incredible. He has a top group of musicians with him and they have made an album which is one of the best from any contemporary group." - Rolling Stone, 1968
More Steve Winwood / More Dave Mason


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Super Hot Stamper

Traffic
Mr. Fantasy

  (Item #: traffmrfan_1908_2) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This Island import pressing boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • These sides are big, full-bodied and lively with plenty of extension on both ends - thanks Eddie!
  • Relatively quiet vinyl throughout, Mint Minus to Minus Minus - few copies will play remotely this well
  • "Winwood is simply incredible. He has a top group of musicians with him and they have made an album which is one of the best from any contemporary group." - Rolling Stone, 1968
More Steve Winwood / More Dave Mason


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Super Hot Stamper

Dave Mason
Alone Together

  (Item #: masonalone_1912) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This outstanding copy of Mason's Masterpiece boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades or BETTER on both sides - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • Listen to how big and rich the dynamic chorus gets on the first track, Only You Know and I Know - what a thrill to hear it like that
  • A killer Bruce Botnick recording - Tubey Magical Analog, smooth and natural, with the whole production sitting on a rock solid bottom-end foundation
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Alone Together represents Dave Mason at his peak... everything comes together perfectly."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Dave Mason
Headkeeper

  (Item #: masonheadk_1909_1) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best sound Dave Mason ever managed, so let's give credit where credit is due, to the amazing engineer Al Schmitt
  • If you're a Dave Mason fan this is one of the better albums he's put out and it deserves a place in your collection
  • "The spare, acoustic solo performance of "Can't Stop Worrying, Can't Stop Loving" heard here, for example, makes the undistinguished full-band studio version instantly obsolete. And the live version of "World In Changes" is one of the best pieces of early '70s rock, period."
See all of our Dave Mason albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Dave Mason
Headkeeper

  (Item #: masonheadk_1909) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • Some of the best sound Dave Mason ever managed, so let's give credit where credit is due, to the amazing engineer Al Schmitt
  • If you're a Dave Mason fan this is one of the better albums he's put out and it deserves a place in your collection
  • "The spare, acoustic solo performance of "Can't Stop Worrying, Can't Stop Loving" heard here, for example, makes the undistinguished full-band studio version instantly obsolete. And the live version of "World In Changes" is one of the best pieces of early '70s rock, period."
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Dave Mason - Alone Together

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: masonalone_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

Alone Together appears to be criminally underrated as music nowadays, having fallen from favor with the passage of time. It is a surely a MASTERPIECE that belongs in any Rock Collection worthy of the name. Every track is good, and most are amazingly good. There's not a scrap of filler here. The recording by Bruce Botnick (mix by Al Schmitt) is hard to fault as well.

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Dave Mason - Alone Together

MCA Heavy Vinyl Debunked

  (Item #: masonalone_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing. I confess I actually used to like and recommend the Heavy Vinyl MCA pressing. Rest assured that is no longer the case. Nowadays it sounds as opaque, ambience-challenged, lifeless and pointless as the rest of its 180 gram brethren.

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Dave Mason - Certified Live

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: masoncerti_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Unlike Frampton Comes Alive, recorded at different venues, Certified Live was recorded at one location, the Universal Amphitheatre, resulting in very little variation in the sound from track to track. The variation in the sound from side to side is the kind of variation we hear on virtually every pressing we play, since no two sides of a record ever really sound exactly the same.

We like our '70s Rock Records to be rich and full; that's what live Rock Concerts have always sounded like to us and we see no reason to revise our biases now. It's what good analog does effortlessly and what even the best digital finds difficult to achieve.

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Dave Mason - Headkeeper

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: masonheadk_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This White Hot Stamper side one was DOIN' IT ALL! It showed us a Headkeeper that's present and alive. This is some of the BEST SOUND Dave Mason ever managed, so let's give credit where credit is due, to the amazing AL SCHMITT.

He recorded and mixed this album and he sure knocked it out of the park. We know his work well; he happens to have engineered many albums with SUPERB SOUND: Aja, Hatari, Breezin', Late for the Sky, Toto IV, as well as some we can't stand (the entire Diana Krall digital-echo-drenched catalog comes to mind).

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Dave Mason - It's Like You Never Left

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: masonitsli_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

I was a big fan of this album when it came out in 1973, used to play it all the time in fact. Now I hear why - it's big and rich with a solid bottom end and a smooth, sweet top, perfect for the big but not especially sophisticated speakers (the Fulton J System) I had back in the day.

This album has the kind of sound that the typical CD just doesn't want anything to do with. Not that the Compact Disc couldn't pull it off -- there are good sounding CDs in the world -- but it doesn't seem to want to even try.

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Dave Mason - Let It Flow

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: masonletit_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is a 2-pack set that gives you A+++ sound and quiet vinyl for both sides of this album. We Just Disagree and Let It Flow, Let It Go are the big hits here and they both sound great. This is one of the more consistent Mason solo albums, with more good songs and less filler than we've heard on some of his other works.

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Dave Mason - Split Coconut

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: masonsplit_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES, including a near-White Hot A++ to A+++ side one! We just finished our first-ever shootout for this album, and we were shocked at just how good it can sound. Bruce Botnick did the engineering, and this record has his signature sound all over it. Nobody captures deep, punchy bottom end like he does! Crosby and Nash are here too, providing excellent backing vocals to a few songs.

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The Dirty Little Secret of the Record Biz Part 3

Hits That Are Made from Dub Tapes

  (Item #: nevermind_3) 


The sound of some songs on some greatest hits albums can be BETTER than the sound of those very same songs on the best original pressings.

How can that be you ask, dumbfounded by the sheer ridiculousness of such a statement? Well, dear reader, I'll tell you. It's a dirty little secret in the record biz that sometimes the master for the presumptive Hit Single (or singles) is pulled from the album's final two track master mix tape and used to make the 45 single, the idea being that the single is what people are going to hear on the radio and want to buy, or, having heard it sound so good on the radio, go out and buy the album.

More from our Thinking About Hot Stampers series


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Traffic - Best Of Traffic

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: traffbesto_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Island British Pink Label pressing has SOME OF THE BEST TRAFFIC SOUND YOU'LL EVER HEAR! We've been flipping out over Hot Stamper copies of this greatest hits comp for ages for a very simple, yet likely shocking, reason -- the sound on the best copies can be BETTER than the best original pressings! How can that be you ask, dumbfounded by the sheer ridiculousness of such a statement? Well, dear reader, I'll tell you. Follow me over the jump to find out.

More Steve Winwood / More Dave Mason


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Traffic - Last Exit

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: trafflaste_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This QUIET British Import Island Sunray (Pink Rim) pressing has THE BEST SIDE TWO WE'VE EVER HEARD, which is where the two extended live cuts are found. We played a bunch of these recently (nothing but Brits, the only way to go for this album) and no side two could keep up with this one. It's got more extension up top, more weight down low, and more energy than we heard anywhere else.

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Traffic - Mr. Fantasy

25th Anniversary British Pressing

  (Item #: traffmrfan) 



This Minty looking Island 25th Anniversary British Import LP has SURPRISINGLY GOOD SOUND! I’d have to say it’s the best sounding record from this series I’ve ever heard. (Note that this is the British version and not the Italian one.)

I can't vouch for other copies of this record -- they may not sound as good as this one -- but this one has the bass that's missing from some of the Pink Label copies and is overall tonally Right On The Money (ROTM), with almost none of the transistory grain that you find on domestic pressings. If you don't want to spend the big bucks for a Hot Stamper, this is probably the next best way to go.

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Traffic - Mr. Fantasy

Where's the Bass?

  (Item #: traffmrfan_pink) 



This Pink Label Original Island pressing has amazingly sweet, open, extended and transparent mids and highs. It has two major shortcomings: a lack of bass, and a fair amount of surface noise. If you can add a few dB around 50 cycles and can put up with some surface noise and scratches, you are guaranteed to hear some wonderful sound in the best tubey Island tradition.

Side two sounds better than side one; it has more bass and therefore is more tonally correct.

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Traffic - Traffic

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: trafftraff_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

UNBELIEVABLE! Here's an Island Pink Label pressing of Traffic's self-titled second album that has a STUNNING side one, a GREAT side two, and plays close to Near Mint! It has been YEARS since we've had such a beautiful Pink Label copy, and I doubt we've ever heard a pressing on any label that could better this side one. The sound is as close to PERFECTION as we ever expect to hear for this music -- super tubey magical, unbelievably transparent and tonally correct from top to bottom.

More Steve Winwood / More Dave Mason


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Traffic- Mr. Fantasy

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: traffmrfan_2006) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This British Sunray Label pressing has THE BEST SOUND I’VE EVER HEARD FOR THIS ALBUM! None of the Pink Label originals that we played had the deep, powerful, punchy bass that this pressing has, coupled with an extended, sweet top end.

This is one of the best sounding Traffic records ever made. Musically it’s hit or miss, but so is every other Traffic record, including my favorite, John Barleycorn. The best songs here are Heaven Is In Your Mind, Dear Mr. Fantasy, and Coloured Rain.

More Steve Winwood / More Dave Mason


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Traffic- Mr. Fantasy

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: traffmrfan_2019) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

This early Pink Label import pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, making this one of the best copies to hit the site in many years, if not THE best. We used to think that The Best of Traffic had better sound, but in a head to head comparison with this very copy, we were proved WRONG. Big, full-bodied and lively, with huge amounts of space and off the charts Tubey Magic, the sound here is Hard to Fault.

More Steve Winwood


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